Helium and Argon in Common Rocks


THE quantity of radium found in granites and kindred rocks (Proc. Roy. Soc., A, vol. lxxvii., p. 472), about 1011 grams per c.c., suggested that the associated helium might be present in sufficient quantity for spectroscopic detection. This has proved to be the case. Thus 250 grams of Matopo granite yielded 3 c.c. of nitrogen on heating. This nitrogen, on sparking down, gave a residue of about 1/100th part of its own volume. The residue was introduced into a vacuum tube, and showed the spectra of argon and helium quite brilliantly, and in about equal intensity. Similar results were obtained with syenite rocks from Mt. Sorrel in Leicestershire, and from Norway.

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STRUTT, R. Helium and Argon in Common Rocks. Nature 75, 271 (1907). https://doi.org/10.1038/075271a0

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